realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Everyone's a Victim

especially boys, whose educational performance is lagging behind girls.
Heather Mac Donald has an interesting take on this -
But what, you say, about girls’ hallowed victim status—how can it co-exist with a newly designated male oppressed class? Not to worry. The great thing about victim thinking is that it is not zero-sum; it is win-win. Each individual, each group, can be a victim in his or her or his/her own special way.

I like her solution, too.
Here’s a better suggestion for the alleged gender gap in education: do nothing. If boys lag in undergraduate enrollment, let them study a little harder, or stay a little more focused, on their own. They don’t need the inevitable new bureaucracies in order to pull up their own bootstraps.

Sure, it’s tempting to use the boy shortage to dismantle feminized progressive education. The contempt for competition and fact-based learning that dominates at education schools undoubtedly does contribute to some no-shows among the male student population. When schools place more importance on group collaboration and sharing than on the achievement of mastery in a subject, when the conquest of trigonometry becomes less important than the collective reconstruction of the Yoruba counting system, some portion of boys will tune out.

But the costs of creating a universal victim population outweigh the benefits of using boys’ victim status to overthrow progressive nostrums. Yes, group learning and enforced equality of achievement are probably not optimal for male accomplishment, but they are not fatal, either. Even in a classroom dedicated to the construction of community, a motivated boy can glean knowledge.

She also says The boy shortage may be more a product of colleges’ retooling themselves to attract females than of any study deficit on boys’ part.

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